Join us on Wednesday, April 21st at 2 p.m. for a fun filled session of Art Exploration Teen Edition, where we will learn even more about Japanese Architecture!

What is Architecture

Architecture is the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. The practice of architecture is employed to fulfill both practical and expressive requirements, and thus it serves both utilitarian and aesthetic ends. It is a complex process that involves:

  • Planning
  • Design
  • Construction

Early Architecture in Japan 

Pit houses were the first style of house to emerge in Japan.

Buddhism Influence 

During the 6th century Buddhism was introduced in Japan. This started the creation of large scale temple buildings using complicated  techniques primarily completed using wood. 

Horyuji Temple was created in 607 by Prince Shotoku, who is credited with the early promotion of Buddhism in Japan. Horyuji is one of the country’s oldest temples.


Tō-ji is a Shingon Buddhist temple located in the Minami-ku area of Kyoto, Japan. It was created in 796 and later became the capital of Japan for a time.


Located in the city of Tajimi, Gifu Prefecture, Japan Eiho-ji is a Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple.


Kinkau-ji is a Zen Buddhist temple located in Kyoto, Japan. It was originally the home of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu after his retirement and turned into a Zen temple upon his death in 1408. The temple was very extravagant and the outside top two  floors are actually covered in gold leaf. 

Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle was completed in 1622 during the Edo period and is located in the city of Hikone, in Shiga Prefecture. It is one of only 12 Japanese castles to have it’s original keep. It is one of five castles recognized as a national treasure of Japan.

Katsura Imperial Villa

Katsura Imperial Villa is considered one of Japan’s best examples of traditional architecture. It is located in the Nishikyo Ward of Kyoto. The Villa was built in 1645 as the residence for the Katsura Family who were members of Japan’s Imperial Family. It has many detailed and extravagant gardens that were popular during the time.


The Negoro-ji temple complex was completed in 1130 and was built to spread Buddhism. It is located in the Katsuragi Mountains in Iwade, Wakayama Japan.

If you enjoyed this glimpse into Japanese architecture and would like to learn more, join us for Art Exploration, Teen Edition on April 21st at 2pm and get to follow along with a fun Japanese architecture inspired art project.


If you want to know more about architecture and the Japanese culture, explore these fun titles.

Japan Encyclopedia by Louis Frederic